Top 10 remodeling projects for Austin homes in 2011-2012

Is your Austin home in need of a new look for the new year? Check out the list below for remodeling projects that, according to the Remodeling 2011-12 Cost vs. Value Report (, will get you the largest returns on your investment.

  • Look up! Turn that musty, unfinished attic in your Austin home into a bedroom with a half-bath, maximize small spaces for closets, and you could get almost 83 percent of your investment value when you sell.
  • Get a facelift. Replace your garage door and you’ll be likely to see about three-quarters of a return on that green.
  • If you’re lucky enough to have a basement in your home, and you spend the money to remodel it, you could get the largest payback listed for Austin homeowners in the 2011-12 Cost vs. Value Report. The 83 percent return you could get on your investment is almost 20 percent more than most people living elsewhere in the nation are likely to see.
  • Switching out your old entry for a new steel front door gets you nearly 83 percent of your cost back. Finish the look with an antique-brass lockset to give your house both a secure feeling and fresh facade.
  • Central Texans care about commodes: put a full bath remodel on your list and you will enjoy your new porcelain tub, mirrored medicine cabinet, linen closet and cool ceramic tile floor before recouping about 73 percent of that investment when you sell.
  • Kick back and relax in your new family room. Add this feature where once there was only a crawlspace to your Austin home and you’ll be likely to see an over 70 percent return on your costs.
  • Siding is sweeping the nation! Folks everywhere recognize the value in brand new fiber-cement siding. This home improvement endeavor generally yields an 80 percent recoup of costs, both in Austin and across the country.
  • Get cookin’! Install energy-efficient appliances, get new laminate countertops, and apply a new coat of paint. Or go whole hog and upgrade to cherry cabinets, a built-in water filter on designer faucets and put in cork flooring. No matter the size of your budget, both major and minor kitchen remodels are good investments. Many Austin homeowners will see between a 73 and 76 percent return on their kitchen projects.
  • Outdoor living is just one of many reasons Austin is a great place to be. Invest in a wood deck and you may get over 75 percent of your costs back from the next person to enjoy your al fresco Austin retreat.

Let these projects and percentages make you thrilled to be a part of the Austin real estate community—the majority of these projects yield a 10 percent higher return on investment than is seen in the national average, according to the report.

For more information on the improvement projects right for your Austin home, talk to your Central Texas REALTOR®.

© 2011 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2011-12 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at

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